Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oktoberfest: Wurst, Kartoffelsalat und Kraut

Tomorrow is the start of Oktoberfest in München Deutschland and it runs until the 3rd of Oktober.  I've never been to München during the actual Oktoberfest, but I can only imagine how fun it would be having experienced the atmosphere of a Hofbräuhaus while vacationing in Germany.

I grew up eating German food, well actually it was referred to as "Pennsylvania Dutch".  My great grandparents, on my mother's side, immigrated to America from the Rheinland in the 1800's and settled in Pennsylvania.  Funny...but as a young girl I always thought that my family was from The Netherlands "Dutch" instead of Germany "Deutsh".  Anyway, growing up I remember my mom preparing potpie, spaetzle, sauerkraut, sauerbraten, funnel cakes and anything and everything pickled, and I've tried to carry on the tradition of serving a German meal on the first day of Oktoberfest throughout the years.           

I've never made seitan sausages before, but they turned out really delicious.  I'm not a big fan of faux meat, but my husband is and so I made these for him.  If you don't want to go through the trouble of making your own sausage, you can always purchase a brand or leave it out all together.  German food is very rich from all the proteins and starches they use in their cuisine.  They balance this by adding acid from vinegar and a sweetness from the sugar.  I prefer my food on the acidic side, but my husband prefers his on the milder side--so you may need to adjust the flavors based on your preference.

Bratwurst Ingredients:

1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup textured soy protein
2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, ground in a spice grinder
2 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp unbleached sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground yellow mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Larger Beer/Water for steaming

  • Set up a steamer pot for the sausages. Add equal parts water/beer in the bottom of the steamer.  Do not fill the liquid above the steamer tray.  
  • Tear six pieces of aluminum foil to wrap the sausages.  You want them to be about 8"x8" or 10"x8" in size.
  • Heat a saute pan on medium, add 1 tbsp olive oil and cook mushrooms until golden brown and all moisture is evaporated.  Add diced onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft.  Transfer mixture to a food processor and let cool.
  • Heat vegetable stock to a simmer, remove from heat and pour a 1/2 cup of vegetable stock over textured soy protein to rehydrate.  Let sit covered for 15 minutes.  Drain remaining liquid and press TSP with the back of a spoon to remove any remaining moisture.  Add TSP to the mushroom-onion mixture in the food processor and pulse 10 or 15 times until you have a fine grain.  Do not over mix--you want it to have some texture.
  • Whisk spices together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Transfer mushroom-onion-tsp mixture to a large bowl and stir in spice mixture until well combined.
  • Next stir in vital wheat gluten until combined and then add 1 cup cooled vegetable stock and stir to combine.
  • Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and working with one portion at a time, place the mixture onto the bottom edge of the foil and form into a 4-5" log.  Roll up the foil like a tootsie roll and twist the edges tightly to close.
  • Bring the steamer to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and place sausages on steamer tray.  Cover and steam for 35 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes and then remove.  Let cool for about 10-15 minutes before unwrapping.
  • To serve, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a saute pan and cook sausages, turning frequently until golden brown.  Remove and slice on a bias or serve in a bun.
Potato Salad:

2 lbs red potatoes, washed and quartered
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp unbleached sugar or agave syrup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • Boil potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.  Be careful not to over cook--you don't want mashed potatoes.
  • While potatoes are cooking heat a saute pan on medium and add 3 tbsp olive oil, mustard seeds and red onion. 
  • Cook until onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes and then add Dijon mustard, sugar and apple cider vinegar.  Stir to combine and heat through.  Turn heat to low to keep warm.
  • Drain potatoes really well and place in a large bowl.  Immediately pour over warm onion-vinegar mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add celery, parsley, green onion and salt and pepper to taste.  
  • You may need to add more vinegar or olive oil depending on taste.
  • Keep warm or serve at room temperature.
Red Cabbage/Sauerkraut:

1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup red wine
1/4-1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
Note:  I'm not a big fan of caraway seeds and so I do not add them to my cabbage.  If you like them then I'd start with adding a 1/2 tsp.  Also, this cabbage is great with diced apples as well.

  • Heat a large saute pan on medium, add olive oil, cabbage and cook for a couple of minutes until cabbage softens slightly.
  • Add red wine and cook until wine is evaporated.
  • Next add red wine vinegar, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste and cook until cabbage is cooked and liquid is absorbed.




No comments:

Post a Comment